HouseSimple will be able to sell homes in six clicks of a mouse within the next year or two, Sam Mitchell, chief executive of the online estate agent predicted.
He said the process will be reduced from 40 or 50 clicks to six.
Mitchell said: “The challenge we’ve posed to our tech team is similar to what Steve Jobs did with iTunes. We’re working hard with a huge team of technical people to deliver this. It’s exciting and will change the world of how people sell properties.
“I think tech will completely transform the housebuying process whether booking a valuation or viewing properties online to speeding up the transaction, having blockchain and buy now buttons in the process.
“Some traditional estate agents don’t let you view properties after 6pm. Technology will completely change that and helps make decisions a lot faster.”
Mitchell revealed that HouseSimple is entertaining the idea of virtual viewing and claims it is the first to sell a home through Facebook Live,when two Hertfordshire homeowners allowed social media vlogger Lucy Flight to stay for an overnight viewing in a ‘try before you buy’ scenario.
The estate agency is also looking at the use of key safes, while it has data scientists looking to give people more confidence on how their properties perform online, like if they are priced too high.
He said HouseSimple is also experimenting with creating an app.
Mitchell added: “We have a really exciting proposition and want a better user experience.
“Most people have a negative view of estate agents and we want to turn that around and show people how easy the housebuying process can be. We want people to love estate agents and if we can get to that point we’ve won.”
This year HouseSimple has changed its brand, website and proposition, for example, where it markets, with the aim of overtaking its competitor Purple Bricks.
The online estate agent charges £1,000 whether or not the customer manages to sell the property whereas HouseSimple introduced a ‘no sale no fee’ basis.
Mitchell said: “As a proposition it’s really resonating with customers and the growth is phenomenal.
“Since we launched it, we’ve seen grown around the country in areas we didn’t market to and in the areas we do regional marketing at, the Midwest, Manchester and Liverpool, we’ve overtaken all online agents apart from Purple Bricks.
“Including traditional estate agents too, we’ve gone from 200 relative market share to inside the top 10 within that region and anticipate to reach the top two within the next three to four weeks.”
Mitchell added the reason HouseSimple was marketing in the North West is because of the North-South divide and it will realistically be marketing nationwide within the next year.
Mitchell added: “Our aim is to be the number one estate agent in the entire country. There’s no reason why we can’t overtake all the other agents, online and traditional high street ones. The next phase is to align our growth and roll out to next region.
“It’s about replicating what we’re doing on that regional trial across the country and making sure we deliver a great service to customers and amplify our message to make them aware of who we are and what we do. We’re all very excited.”
Mitchell predicted that at least 30% of traditional estate agents will close within the next three or four years with the online sector taking this share.
He added: “High street estate agents are inhibitors; not enablers, and that’s where tech can change things.
“I think the growth is coming from hybrids because people don’t want to be left to sell on their own devices and don’t want the traditional route either.
“The answer is harnessing the best of both worlds, using an online service while having people to help and make sure the customer makes the right decision.”